5 Places to Paddleboard in Northwest Florida

5 Places to Paddleboard in Northwest Florida

5 Places to Paddleboard in Northwest Florida

You probably know that the new favorite pastime for water sport adventures is stand-up paddleboarding. At Vacayzen, we’ve got the paddleboard rentals to keep the whole family covered from Panama City Beach to Fort Walton Beach, and everywhere in between! While many enjoy paddling or even fishing from their boards in the Gulf of Mexico, sometimes the water can be a little choppy for beginners who might need to practice on a smoother surface. We’ve put together a list of 5 Places to Paddleboard in Northwest Florida for paddlers of all ages and skill levels!


Grayton Beach State Park

If you’re staying near or on Highway 30-A in South Walton, a trip to Grayton Beach State Park is definitely a good idea whether you’re paddleboarding or not. But if you are, grab your boards and head out to practice in 30-A’s famous Western Lake! The park entrance just east of Grayton Beach is a good place to go (note the $2 parking charge) to drop your board in on one of the area’s most scenic coastal dune lakes. You can paddle all the way to the beach or explore the wilder side amid the pines and growth of the park. You can also launch from the boat ramp just east of Red Bar, or head straight to the beach and test your skills in the Gulf.


Crab Island

Definitely one of Destin’s most popular hangouts, Crab Island is a sandbar in the Choctawhatchee Bay just north of Destin’s East Pass by the Harbor. A great launching area is directly under the Marler Bridge (East Pass) on the western end, and then it’s just a short paddle to the action at Crab Island! Due to high boating traffic and often many people wading in the warm waters, this is a spot better suited to advanced paddleboarders.


Hogtown Bayou – Santa Rosa Beach

Launch from the Cessna Landing docks just off Highway 393 north in Santa Rosa Beach and explore this little bayou or take a longer paddle right out to the Choctawhatchee Bay! With tons of inlets and beautiful homes to view from the water, it’s a peaceful ride with calm waters. Be sure to look to the west near the day’s end, because sunsets from Hogtown Bayou are beautiful!

St. Andrews State Park

For our Panama City Beach visitors, escape the high traffic and busy Gulf waters with a trip to beautiful St. Andrews State Park. The park boasts lakes that are great practice, or take a ride on the Shell Island Shuttle and explore. Head north from the kayak launch and check out Alligator Point!

Where to rent yolo boards on 30a

Santa Rosa Sound

On the western end of our area lie Okaloosa Island and the serene Santa Rosa Sound. With miles of nearly deserted beaches, Okaloosa Island is a great spot for some R&R, or on the north side of the island, take a paddle around the sound. Maybe even try some SUP Yoga!


Don’t forget that Vacayzen is open all year and always includes free delivery and pickup for all beach gear rentals, paddleboards, kayaks, baby gear, and more!


Visit our Beach Rentals page for all paddleboard rentals or give us a call to reserve yours!

The Amazing Benefits of SUP Yoga

The Amazing Benefits of SUP Yoga

The Amazing Benefits of SUP Yoga

There’s a new yoga style in town – one that’s challenging to a new degree. Yoga has seen various popular trends over the past years. There was restorative yoga, Bikram Yoga, and Hot Yoga. Now there is paddleboard yoga, a.k.a. “SUP Yoga”, a shortened moniker for Stand Up Paddle Yoga. In short, where yoga was earth-bound, now it brings in the element of water. Athletes know that using balance in – or in this case “on” – water develops core strength. Gyms use stability balls to enhance core strength. And, in SUP Yoga, the stand-up paddleboard used previously for crossing waters, is now repurposed as a yoga mat. Paddleboards are large enough and sturdy enough to serve the purpose. Add the buoyancy of water and you can see why SUP has become the rage.

From there it was only natural that fans of Pilates would pick up on the benefits of stand-up paddleboards. The strength and grace of Pilates and Yoga set in an environment of sun and tranquil waters have long been the draw of five-star spa resorts. Now, classes in SUPilates and SUP yoga are becoming more readily available, especially in areas like ours where paddleboarding has already been a mainstay of coastline living. Where to rent yolo boards on 30a

Benefits of SUPilates:

  • Both SUPilates and SUP yoga draw on the use of the stand-up paddleboard. Fitness professionals readily recognized, from the get go, that standing on a board and paddling across waters is more than just fun. It is, in effect, a great cardiovascular workout.

  • Adding the movements SUPilates and SUP yoga is superb for strengthening core-based balance. The body’s “core” gets a full workout when poses are done are added.

  • The element of water buoyancy requires the paddler to constantly draw on the deep stabilizing muscles of the pelvis and spine simply to stand and paddle the board. Adding core-based exercises takes this benefit further to enhance the development of such muscles.

  • Add Pilates exercises to SUP heightens the challenge and benefits of Pilates. As an example, Leg Circles can be a simple exercise for devotees of Pilates. Foundational to the exercise, an individual needs to stabilize their pelvis and ensure their weigh does not shift from hip to hip. On a paddleboard, the board signals the individual by rocking, if their pelvis is unstable in a repetition.

  • Wobbly hips and poorly managed leg movements will cause the board to flip over.

  • SUPilates routines build spinal stability and abdominal strength. The individual in SUPilates works the abdominals in flexion, requiring them to fire more stabilizers to maintain stability on the unstable board.

  • More complicated exercises such as Kneeling Side Leg Series are even more challenging because of the demands placed on scapular and pelvic stability in order to perform the exercises properly.

  • Pilates and Yoga done as a routine necessitates intense focus and single-pointed concentration. Still, it is all too easy to have daily concerns and wandering thoughts sneak in. Doing the same routines on a paddleboard provides an instant scorecard. If your mind takes off on a tangent, odds are you’re going to flip over. The required mindset is intensified when done on water versus land.

  • Nature is healing. Being outside is a benefit in itself. Taking Pilates and yoga to tranquil waters can be like heaven on earth.